A goose and a bear develop a close friendship in this debut picture book.
As a Canadian goose named Zoey plays in the pond, she is approached by a large black bear called Henry. They become fast friends, spending their days swimming in the pond and playing together. But as wintertime approaches, they realize they must go their separate ways for the season; Zoey will fly south and Henry will hibernate. They make plans to meet again in the spring. When Henry wakes to a verdant landscape after his long nap, he wonders whether his friendship with Zoey was a dream. At the pond, he is thrilled to see Zoey waiting for him. Though the moral here is charming, the book is wordy for this genre. Some verbose descriptions could have been omitted without effecting the plot. Wald’s use of adjectives and adverbs in the dialogue feels clunky and redundant, especially when the characters’ emotions are already evident via the illustrations (“Zoey paused, and then asked in a somewhat fearful voice”; “Feeling greatly relieved, Zoey exclaimed”). But Hannon’s (No Bears Allowed, 2019, etc.) whimsical, soft watercolor images are appealing, capturing pretty nature scenes in different seasons and offering friendly animal portrayals. And the engaging work emphasizes its worthy message with a note on the back explaining that the story “celebrates diversity” and shows “how differences and obstacles can be overcome with…a willingness to discover what we have in common with others.”
A sometimes-rambling but ultimately sweet animal tale.